Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. This means that investors who purchase Dover's shares on or after the 30th of May will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 15th of June.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.51 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$2.02 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Dover has a trailing yield of 1.5% on the current stock price of $135.64. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Dover's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Fortunately Dover's payout ratio is modest, at just 27% of profit. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. It distributed 36% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.
It's positive to see that Dover's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Dover, with earnings per share up 9.7% on average over the last five years. Management have been reinvested more than half of the company's earnings within the business, and the company has been able to grow earnings with this retained capital. Organisations that reinvest heavily in themselves typically get stronger over time, which can bring attractive benefits such as stronger earnings and dividends.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 10 years, Dover has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.8% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
Is Dover worth buying for its dividend? Earnings per share have been growing moderately, and Dover is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends, which is an attractive combination as it suggests the company is investing in growth. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and Dover is halfway there. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks Dover is facing. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for Dover and you should be aware of them before buying any shares.
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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